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How to Hide the WordPress Upgrade Message in the Dashboard

There was a huge debate on Digging into WordPress blog whether developers should let their client’s upgrade or not. We believe to educate our clients and encourage them to be self-sufficient therefore we have created an infographic that shows you a step by step guide to upgrade WordPress. For Backing up WordPress, we recommend using BackupBuddy Plugin to our clients. But we do have clients that do not want to deal with maintenance updates, so they want us to take care of them therefore we also have that option available. For these clients, we hide the WordPress Upgrade Message.

All you have to do is simply open the theme’s functions.php file and add this:

function wphidenag() {
remove_action( 'admin_notices', 'update_nag', 3 );

There are plugins available that does this job, but we prefer to use the code above. Now remember, this only removes the upgrade bar that shows on all screens. It does not disable the Plugin updates or theme update notifications that shows up on the update page. For our clients that have us do the maintenance for them, we make sure that their site is up to date with all plugins, and the core.

Now Jeff Star posed an issue that he has to go in client’s dashboard to see whether plugins and such are activated. Well we already have a fix for that. We are using WP Status Dashboard (Our Tutorial on How to use WP Status Dashboard). This plugin/script lets us view all of our clients information on one screen, so we know exactly what needs to be upgraded on which client.

Remember, keeping your WordPress up to date is essential for site security. So if you do remove the nag, you need to stay on top of the upgrades for your clients.

Will you be doing this for your client’s site?? Do you have a better solution?

How to Add Custom Fields Automatically on Post Publish in WordPress

When creating our WPBeginner Gallery Site, we needed to generate custom branded short urls automatically for each site submitted to the gallery, and then store them as a custom field as soon as the post was published. Now while we will leave the auto-generating shortlinks for each post for our next topic, we will cover how to add custom fields automatically on post publish in WordPress. This can be very useful for developers who are looking to push WordPress to the next level.

First thing you need to do is open your theme’s functions.php file and paste the following code:

add_action('publish_page', 'add_custom_field_automatically');
add_action('publish_post', 'add_custom_field_automatically');
function add_custom_field_automatically($post_ID) {
	global $wpdb;
	if(!wp_is_post_revision($post_ID)) {
		add_post_meta($post_ID, 'field-name', 'custom value', true);

Then simply replace the field-name and custom value with your Custom Field Name, and the Value. This is a relatively simple trick, but it can be very effective when trying to use WordPress for other than blog purposes.

Increase your WordPress Blog Performance by using Google App Engine

Page speed is one aspect of SEO. Google and other search engines and – above all – your blog visitors love fast page loading. As the blog owner, you value your readers’ time, so don’t let them wait more than 10 seconds for any page they want to read in your blog. You may be aware that there are a lot of ways to improve your blog page speed, from using cache plugins (like W3 Total Cache) and optimizing themes, to using a good hosting server (like HostGator) and finally – using a CDN. Yes, WordPress beginners often miss out on the latter. Using a CDN will greatly improve your page speed performance, but generally such services are NOT free.

So what is CDN anyway? Wikipedia defines CDN as:

“A content delivery network or content distribution network (CDN) is a system of computers containing copies of data, placed at various points in a network so as to maximize bandwidth for access to the data from clients throughout the network. A client accesses a copy of the data near to the client, as opposed to all clients accessing the same central server, so as to avoid bottlenecks near that server.” (Source: Wikipedia)

In this article we will be showing you how to use Google App Engine to act as a CDN. Since Google data centers are distributed all over the world, this is a great free service to use with a limit of 1GB/day. What can you host on Google App Engine? The files which are most essential for you to host on Google App Engine are static files, including theme CSS, theme JavaScript files, and theme images. Hosting these static files on Google App Engine will reduce your server load and speed up your page loading time. And that is exactly what will improve your SEO and user experience.

Follow the step-by-step instructions below to start using Google App Engine to host your static files:

1. Create a Google Account. If you have a Gmail account that will do. I won’t explain it in details here, visit here to create one (Skip to Step 2 if you already have a Google Account).

2. Sign up for a Google App Engine Application. Your cell phone might need to be verified again.

Signup for Google App Engine Application

3. Create a Google App Engine Application (in this example I called it myfreecdn).

4. I use Python. Download Python SDK and Google App Engine SDK, and install them both.

Google App Engine Launcher

5. Open Google App Engine Launcher and open Preferences from menu Edit » Preferences, then update the Python path to where you install the Python execute file.

Google App Engine Launcher Preferences

6. Create a new Application by going to File » Create New Application, fill in Application Name (this should be the same as Application identifier so in my case: myfreecdn), then choose where your file will be saved.

Add New Application

7. Now open the folder where you saved the Application, and make two new folders, one called “styles”, and the other called “images”. The Styles folder is where you put your CSS and JavaScript files. Likewise, the Images folder is for image files.

8. Now edit the app.yaml file in the application folder and add the following:

application: myfreecdn
version: 1
runtime: python
api_version: 1
default_expiration: "7d"
- url: /images
  static_dir: images
- url: /styles
  static_dir: styles

9. Now, copy over all your CSS and JavaScript files to the “style” folder and the image files to the “images” folder.

10. To deploy your Application, just press the button “Deploy” on the toolbar. You would need to enter your Google account account and password. Allow the process to be completed.

11. Now you should be able to access your files by going to this address: http://[app-id][images|styles]. An example location could be:

12. Now go to your WordPress theme, edit all your style URLs to use your Google App Engine URL. And don’t forget to update your style.css relative image URLs to use the Google App Engine URL as well.

13. Upload the updated theme files back into your WordPress blog and test it. (You can use FireBug from Firefox extensions for this purpose.) Now you should be able to feel the difference.

All in all, this is just one way to increase your blog performance. But using this method will have a great impact. I myself use this technique to increase my blog performance. I would like to share with you the benefits of my experience. I hope you find this advice useful.

Editorial Note:

While Ivan shares a great technique here to utilize Google App Engine as a CDN for static files, this is just a shortcut way for making some difference. If you are using it for a very small site, then this might be a good idea. Otherwise there are disadvantages to using this method:

1. You are still serving all blog post images, thumbnails, or any other post attachments without a CDN. So you are not maximizing performance.
2. This method is extremely time consuming if you decide to make changes to your theme because everything is hard coded.
3. There is a limit for free usage 1GB / Day, so if you exceed that you will still have to pay for this service (which is expensive compared to competitor prices). Even if you pay, you would not be able to utilize CDN for the entire site (See point 1) unless ofcourse you want to upload everything on Google App Engine account manually and then manually edit all of your previous post images and thumbnail URLs.

We recommend that you get it right from the start by using MaxCDN. We are using their services to speed up our site. You can pay $39.95 to get 1TB of Bandwidth which is good for one year of use (use the coupon “wpbeginner” to get additional 25% off). This is 635GB additional bandwidth then what Google gives you for the year, and if you pay google $0.12 for each additional bandwidth like their pricing says, then you will end up paying $76.2 for the year (almost twice the price that you would pay for MaxCDN for a year).

Second the best part is that MaxCDN uses Pull Zones which also works with WordPress when using the plugin W3 Total Cache. What this means is that all files will be served through their CDN without you altering a single line of code. Just have the right settings in W3 Total Cache.

How to Add Default Content in Your WordPress Post Editor

Have you ever find yourself entering the same text in all of your posts? Often people do that such as asking people to subscribe to their feeds, retweet the post, share it on facebook etc. You can always use a simple tag to add it right after the content, or you can add that text as the default content in your WordPress post editor.

Simply open up your WordPress theme’s functions.php file and paste the following code within the PHP tags ofcourse.

add_filter( 'default_content', 'my_editor_content' );
function my_editor_content( $content ) {
	$content = "If you like this post, then please consider retweeting it or sharing it on Facebook.";
	return $content;

And you are done. Try to create a New Post, and you should see the new content there.

Update (January 24, 2013) – One of our users asked us how to add different content for different post type in the comments. The code below will show you how to add different default content in your WordPress post editor for each specific custom post type:

add_filter( 'default_content', 'my_editor_content', 10, 2 );

function my_editor_content( $content, $post ) {

    switch( $post->post_type ) {
        case 'sources':
            $content = 'your content';
        case 'stories':
            $content = 'your content';
        case 'pictures':
            $content = 'your content';
            $content = 'your default content';

    return $content;

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